Along with writing this news piece, I’ll be winging an email off to our fearless leader Zardon, in a hope that he’ll be able to secure one of the Foc.us headsets for review. It looks crazy, it sounds crazy and I bet it doesn’t work, but I still want to see one in action and feel the electricity coursing through my brain, making me a better gamer… somehow.
Not much is known about the Foc.us at the moment, as it’s not out yet and the creators are being somewhat cagey. However as with every other firm selling something, they’re keen to talk up its benefits. Apparently it’s designed to make you game faster by “overclock[ing] your head.”
Of course that sounds ridiculous, but there is some science behind it. The Foc.us headset uses something called Transcranial direct-current stimulation, that essentially pumps minute currents through certain parts of your brain, stimulating the neurons into firing faster and more frequently. This works by – and I quote the great Wikipedia here – “When positive stimulation (anodal tDCS) is delivered, the current causes a depolarization of the resting membrane potential, which increases neuronal excitability and allows for more spontaneous cell firing.”
This isn’t magic science mubmo jumbo either. There have been uses of this tech throughout the last few decades that purport to have helped conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, stroke based motor deficits and tinnitus. However the fact that this isn’t seeing widespread usage could mean that a lot of the effects are placebo related. There just hasn’t been that much study performed on it.
When co-founder of Foc.us Michael Oxley doesn’t even sound like he knows it’ll work, you do have to wonder: “I built foc.us because I was frustrated that however much I read about tDCS there was no easy way to try it. Now there is,” his quote reads on the official site.
The impressive part of tDCS “treatment” is that the increased neural activity appears to continue even after treatment ends. So theoretically you could have the Foc.us headset on for an hour and continue gaming for another 45 minutes afterwards and continue to receive the benefits – if they manifest at all.
Some side effects of tDCS can be nausea, itching (under the electrode) dizziness and phosphene when the electrode begins firing.
Pre-ordering the Foc.us headset now, will set you back £180 + £6 for shipping and it’ll arrive sometime in July.
KitGuru Says: Any brave readers going to trump up the cash to give it a try? In the mean time, I’ll see if I can get a review sample. I have to see if this thing works.[Cheers PCGamesN]